Confused by your credit card perks? You’re not alone, J.D. Power study finds.

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If you’ve ever found yourself scratching your head over your credit card perks, you’re not alone. That’s according to the recent J.D. Power 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study.

The survey found that just 36% of consumers fully understand the benefits their cards offer outside of the basic rewards. It also found consumers are least satisfied with how card issuers explain the terms and perks attached to cards — naming travel-related perks, such as free late checkout and free companion tickets, as some of the most confusing credit card terms to understand.

But some card issuers have begun using mobile apps which can help deliver better communication and grow customer satisfaction. Read on to learn more.

Want to know more?

What led to so much confusion around card perks?

Fierce competition among card issuers has led to a benefits arms race, with issuers trying to outdo one another by releasing new perks they hope will give them an edge with consumers.

Because of this, it’s now common to see credit cards offering not only cash back rewards or points for travel, but additional perks that include companion tickets and free baggage check. But these extra perks might just be confusing people.

The recent J.D. Power study found many consumers don’t fully understand the additional perks that come with their credit cards, suggesting card issuers could do a better job explaining just how each of these perks work, and how they can benefit their customers.

What can card issuers do about consumer confusion?

Card issuers lose out when consumers don’t understand the benefits of their cards. For instance, the J.D. Power survey found that customers who fully understand their card’s rewards program spend an average of $307 more per month with their card than those who don’t understand.

So, what can issuers do to make consumers less confused? It all comes down to communication, according to J.D. Power. One card issuer may be ahead of the curve on this. Discover was ranked highest in customer satisfaction in the latest J.D. Power survey — and customers gave it high marks for communication.

This award follows Discover’s top ranking in another J.D. Power survey earlier this year on U.S. credit card mobile app satisfaction.

What can you do to better understand credit card benefits?

If you’re in the market for a credit card or want to get more out of the cards you already have, we’ve got some next steps to help you understand credit card benefits.

  • It all starts with knowing what benefits are best for you. Before you add a credit card to your wallet, make sure the main rewards it offers are actually ones you’ll use.
  • Learn what different perks can do and how to use them. Our guide to credit card perks can help you determine what different card benefits might mean, and how to use them.
  • Reach out to your card issuer. If you’re unsure about some perks that your card offers, you can reach out to your issuer directly to learn more about how they work and how to use them.